It’s the Rugby Union World cup quarter-finals.
Here, Examiner sports writer James Hall gets a flavour from each camp via locals with connections to the eight countries involved.
- The fixtures are: Saturday – South Africa v Wales and New Zealand v France. Sunday – Ireland v Argentina and Australia v Scotland.
Despite being born and raised in England, Sports journalism undergraduate Sean Legge, from the University of Huddersfield, pledges his allegiance to Ireland when it comes to sport.
Legge is a quarter Irish and is proud of his heritage.
“My nan was Irish, and I have a lot of family over there, so I like to follow Irish sport,” he explained.
“I do support Ireland when they play England. It’s a great rivalry in the house, and they typically play exciting games against each other.”
Legge is confident Ireland will avoid a potential banana skin in their quarter-final match v Argentina.
“It should be a comfortable win, I’m pretty confident and making the semifinals is a good achievement,” he added.
Gus Mainetti, meanwhile, from the Cafe Central in Milnsbridge, watched his native Argentina beat Namibia 64-19 last weekend and feels they can go one better.
“We’ve done it before and we can do it again,” said Gus. “I went to watch them last week and, if we play like that and attack, I’m pretty confident we can go through.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise to me to see Argentina in the semi-finals, like it was in 2007.”
Matt Dick will be watching with very little optimism when his beloved Scotland take on Australia.
“I don’t really see us having any hope against Australia,” he said.
“Losing Jonny Gray and Ross Ford from the pack is a massive blow, and it will take a huge effort from the boys to get a result.”
Dick, from Falkirk, is a third-year student at the University. He will be watching the game in a pub, and took a parting shot at tournament hosts and flops England: “I imagine I will be in a pub somewhere. Even if we don’t win, at least we did better than England.”
Australian resident Matt Cordingley is a keen sports fan, and has followed rugby from a young age.
“Kids growing up in Australia are always encouraged to play sport. Most people choose cricket or rugby. They usually have a successful side.
“The whole country will be cheering on the Wallabies, and demanding a good result.”
Huddersfield alumni Anna-Line Massot, from Paris, graduated in 2009 from Huddersfield. Although she is not a huge lover of rugby, she will cheer on the French against New Zealand.
Massot says that the coverage of rugby is not as big as football in her home nation, but many will watch in bars.
“The atmosphere is slightly less vibrant in France, but like the UK they make it into a social event.
“I would always go to a live sporting event, I love the atmosphere at a stadium. It’s a great place to be.”
Englishman Phil Carter, whose son Joe plays for Scholes in the Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League, lives in the New Zealand capital Wellington. He sees only one outcome.
“The country is All Black at the moment,” he said. “Can’t see France getting in their way, even though the All Blacks will be nervous of the French turning up and playing well.
“Looks like an All Blacks v Aussies final to me.”
Welshman Scott Taylor, from Wrexham, firmly believes that despite Wales’ depleted squad, they can still overcome South Africa and go on to win the tournament.
“I think with our best squad we can beat anyone,” he said.
“Even though we don’t have Halfpenny and Webb we still have an adequate squad to do the job.”
Taylor is confident Wales can progress against the Springboks.
“I think it will be a tough game, but I think we are going into the game in good form after beating England, and with a solid performance against Australia.
“I think we can cause South Africa problems,” he explained.
“We saw their frailties against Japan and we can capitalise on them.”
Englishman Keith Pendry regularly welcomes friends from Huddersfield to his home in Cape Town.
“The South Africans recognise it will be a tough, even attritional game,” he said.
“They feel the Japan result was a bit of a fluke, but they seem to ignore or overlook the brutal fact the Springboks haven’t been vigorously tested or proven as yet.
“Handling errors in particular have been ignored and lessons unlearned. Are they confident? Oh yes! But there lies the danger.”